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Shocked growling?

(12 Posts)
permaquandry Thu 20-Mar-14 23:46:07

This is the 4th time this has happened in 18 mths (ddog's age).

Ddog is normally a bit hyper and VERY playful/bouncy but not aggressive.

When ddog is fast asleep and shocked awake, she growls and goes to bite/snaps out.

This scenario is always in dim light or dark, when ddog is deep in a sleep and is shocked awake by being picked up (this is either to put her to bed for the eve, or move her off sofa etc).

Ddog retracts immediately, usually as myself or DH pull away very quickly. Ddog never, ever makes contact with our hand, it's almost like she jumps to her senses within milli-seconds.

Is his normal or a bad sign? I totally get why she reacts, she's shocked out of her sleep and confused, just not sure if this shows any worrying trait?

CalamityKate Thu 20-Mar-14 23:53:26

Dogs in general don't tend to like being picked up, let alone when they're asleep. Why can't you call her out of sleep and let her wake up and move herself?

HoneyDragon Thu 20-Mar-14 23:56:21

Always verbally command a dog to shift when it's asleep/been sleeping. Not fair to startle it.smile

permaquandry Fri 21-Mar-14 00:06:36

Thanks so much for the replies, so late at night as well....

My ddog has a few princess lazy tendencies and actually requests to be picked up, she is small and sometimes, halfway though a walk stops until I pick her up (we are working on this). She also just sits and stares at you when you call her to come around home (we are working on he his one too.....) blush

On the 'snappy' occasions it's like a 'right, bedtime' and have given her no warning, which I realise is where I'm going wrong. I'm clearly making her jump. I will def stop this.

I'm going to assume this is normal dog behaviour and not worry about her becoming snappy?

cashewfrenzy Fri 21-Mar-14 00:12:35

Use a food treat to lure her off the sofa while calling her. I would be pretty pissed off if someone tried to hoist me out of my bed while I was sleeping. And your dog can't say "Fuck off, I was sleeping!" like I would, so it does the only thing it can do to communicate to you.

Booboostoo Fri 21-Mar-14 09:08:15

It sounds like you are startling her. Use her name, a command and a treat reward to get what you want instead of picking her up, especially when she is asleep.

TheScience Fri 21-Mar-14 09:11:37

If you know it frightens her, why do you keep doing it?

moosemama Fri 21-Mar-14 11:26:47

One of the first things my dcs ever learned about living with dogs was 'never approach/disturb a sleeping dog'. It's basic common sense.

If you have to wake her to move her, do it as respectfully as you would like to be woken if you were asleep with a gentle name call. Then once she's awake you can either lure her with a treat or then lift her if that's normal for her and she's happy with it.

A large majority of dogs will growl when woken with a start.

permaquandry Fri 21-Mar-14 14:15:57

I did say I understood why she did it and accept it was out fault. Totally unintentional. Just a case of needing to do something in a hurry and not thinking.

It wasn't the reason for her startled reaction that I was querying, it was the snapping and biting that I wanted to know if normal.

Would all dogs snap and go to bite in this situ or just growl?

permaquandry Fri 21-Mar-14 14:20:22

The science, if you read my replies it says I wont do it again. This is, however, the first time I've done it. The other 3 times it happened to DH and having not witnessed it, just thought he was over-reacting, hence my post.

HoneyDragon Fri 21-Mar-14 14:37:40

A snap is a helpful warning.

moosemama Fri 21-Mar-14 14:39:41

A lot depends on the dog, some are more tolerant than others but also, if it's happened a few times, she may well have growled the first couple of times, but when that didn't stop it happening felt the need to escalate her reaction.

Escalation of reaction would be:

growl, threat/upset doesn't cease
growl and snap, threat/upset doesn't cease
bite - usually only a last resort and usually only if they can't remove themselves from the situation (eg being picked up, you blocking their exitf from the sofa)

There's more to it than that and there will definitely have been more subtle body language and eye-movement etc that is often missed or misread unless you're used to reading canine body language - such as lip licking, yawning, showing the whites of the eyes, turning the head away or averting gaze, stiffening of posture, stilted tail wag or tail tip wag.

There are quite a few videos on the web to help you learn the signs if you want to Google. Alternatively Turid Rugaas' book Calming Signals is an excellent way of learning the basics to help you avoid conflict with your dog. I think every dog owner should have a copy.

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